{{show_title_date || "Debt ceiling battle could be a redux of fiscal cliff, 1/14/13, 7:00 PM ET"}}

Will Boehner play ‘Dr. No’ in the debt limit fight?


Obama, Barack Obama. The president brought James Bond-style swagger to the final press conference of his first term, but will Speaker Boehner play the role of Dr. No? President Obama vowed not to give in on the debt ceiling debate, calling any kind of brinkmanship “irresponsible” and “absurd.” But while refusing to raise the debt limit could have a catastrophic impact on the economy, Republicans may try to leverage that potential damage in exchange for spending cuts.

Fitch, a top credit-rating firm, warned Tuesday that it may downgrade America’s credit rating if Congress defaults on its debt by failing to lift the borrowing limit. In 2011, Standard and Poor’s became the first and only credit agency to strip America of its triple-A rating, after House Republicans refused to hike the debt limit without massive spending cuts.

Lunar colony enthusiast, zoo aficionado and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich brought some sanity from the Republican side Tuesday morning, urging his party to raise the debt ceiling, and move their spending demands to the debate over the sequester or the next budget resolution: “Republicans have two much better arenas to fight over spending.”

The president has written his side of the script, and made it clear that any damage inflicted on the economy from a failure to raise the debt ceiling will be blamed on the GOP. How will Speaker Boehner and Republicans respond? Will they heed the advice of former House Speaker Gingrich and move their fight to safer ground, or will they play the dangerous role of Dr. No?

In the video above, Alex Wagner previews the debt ceiling fight with her panel and asks if Republicans are better off fighting their battle elsewhere.

Will Boehner play 'Dr. No' in the debt limit fight?